By Freha Amjad
If you are looking to ride a career helicopter into the rarefied echelons of those who earn more than $250,000 a year – then consider becoming an expat working in Asia.
Such a course is suggested by the findings of the latest HSBC Expat Explorer report, which is based on a YouGov survey of 9,288 expats worldwide. Asia is home to the highest earning expats, who are almost three times more likely to earn over $250,000 a year than their counterparts in Europe. Read more >>
By Samuel Greene of King’s College London
Thursday’s EU-brokered Ukraine-Russia gas deal restores energy flows to Ukraine, and thus also to Europe, that had been blocked by Moscow since June, ensuring that homes will be heated through the coming winter. However, beyond that obvious plus, it is a remarkably bad deal.
The agreement turns the gas back on for the next six months, for an undisclosed price, while the EU essentially buys Ukraine’s debt to Gazprom, putting Kiev in hock to Brussels instead of Moscow. What the deal doesn’t do is provide a transparent price point or any certainty beyond the end of the winter. Come the thaw, we can be pretty sure we’ll end up right back where we were. Read more >>
By Samiran Chakraborty of Standard Chartered Bank
Just a year ago, India faced a mini-run on the rupee. Now, an improving economy combined with political stability has made the country a darling of foreign investors, with more than $35bn of portfolio inflows since January. India’s stock market and currency are the world’s top performers.
Some dismiss this as hype, predicting that post-election optimism will soon run out of steam. However, looking at the evidence, there is much to justify the bullishness. Read more >>
** FT News **
* The day Abenomics roars back | Abenomics roars back as further monetary easing stuns investors
* BoJ unexpectedly expands easing programme | Japan central bank attributes move to weak demand and lower oil price Read more >>
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By Daniel Gallucci, Asean Confidential
How badly has Thailand’s economy been affected by a decade of political turmoil? A projection of what GDP growth might have been in the absence of messy politics indicates that at the macroeconomic level, Thailand has not been nearly as able to shrug off external shocks as the oft-quoted moniker “Teflon Thailand” might suggest.
Between the first quarter of 2001, when former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai party won their first election, and the fourth quarter of 2005, just before significant protests against Thaksin began, the Thai economy expanded by 31.9 per cent in total, equal to an average growth rate of 1.5 per cent quarter on quarter and 6.0 per cent year on year. In the eight and a half years since, the economy has grown by just 21.1 per cent in total, at an average rate of 0.6 quarter on quarter and 2.3 per cent year on year. Read more >>
** FT News **
* Russia and Ukraine reach gas deal | Agreement forestalls potential winter energy crisis for Europe
* Military seizes power in Burkina Faso | Parliament set ablaze after President Compaoré tries to prolong his 27-year rule Read more >>
There may be some light at the end of the tunnel for China’s beleaguered housing market, according to a survey of real estate developers by China Confidential. Home sales growth in October was the highest in 18 months, while a separate survey of urban consumers shows home buying sentiment at a multi-year high.
China Confidential’s monthly survey of 300 real estate developers across 40 cities, showed a sharp rebound in sales volumes in October, with companies reporting the biggest month-on-month increase since March 2013. Developers reported an even larger expansion in sales inquiries, suggesting that many potential home-buyers remain on the side-lines. Read more >>
People in emerging markets are a lot more satisfied than they were in 2007, according to a survey by Pew Research, with Indonesians and the Chinese surging ahead in their accumulation of contentment.
By interviewing 47,643 people in 43 countries and comparing the results to a similar survey undertaken in 2007, Pew concluded that the greatest increases in “life satisfaction” occurred in Asia. In Indonesia, satisfaction levels increased by 35 percentage points over the past seven years; in China, satisfaction grew by 26 percentage points. Read more >>
The death of Michael Sata, Zambia’s president, could delay an International Monetary Fund visit to the southern African nation and, consequently, any Fund support package.
Africa’s second largest copper producer turned to the IMF in June as the kwacha hit record lows against the US dollar and the government battled a wide fiscal deficit after Sata’s administration reaped the fruit of what was seen as excessive public spending. Read more >>
** FT News **
* Acid attacks on women spread fear in Iran | Up to eight women in the central city of Isfahan have been injured in acid attacks this month
* Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi | Attack on religious activist raises fears of broader Israeli-Palestinian confrontation Read more >>
Nimbuzz, a Netherlands-based but India-focused messaging app, was acquired by New Call Telecom of the UK this week in a deal that valued the company at about $250m.
That is a tiny sum compared with the $22bn Facebook paid this year for WhatsApp, with its 465m users worldwide. Nimbuzz has 200m registered users, mostly in India, the Middle East and north Africa, and its success in the vast Indian market provides important lessons for tech companies in Asia’s third largest economy. Read more >>
By Andrew Foxall, The Henry Jackson Society
Western sanctions against Russia, first imposed in March, have strengthened that significant body of Russia’s elite who want to see a much more state-led style of development. During last week’s Valdai Club meeting in Sochi, President Putin argued that sanctions would help Russia’s ambitions by reducing its economic dependence on the West.
While Russia’s emphasis on self-sufficiency pre-dates the Ukraine crisis, its statism has intensified as Russia’s economy has started to show the strain of sanctions. Read more >>
The downturn in China’s property market is well documented, and one of the biggest points of interest for global investors. Whether you mine copper, sell TVs, or buy bonds, chances are the Chinese housing market matters to you somehow.
With that in mind, we’d like to present this handy chart from Moody’s – showing the annual price changes for newly completed apartments in China. It’s quite telling. Read more >>
** FT News **
* Nato jets intercept Russian aircraft | ‘Significant military manoeuvres’ conducted in past 24 hours
* Brazil raises rates to three-year high | Disagreement over level was a battleground of election Read more >>
And now the hurly burly’s done. With Brazil’s presidential run-off last weekend, this year’s elections in the five big deficit-plagued emerging markets are now complete.
Growth in all the fragile five – Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa – has slowed, and ongoing current account deficits leave them vulnerable to a tightening of global credit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the elections saw shifts against incumbents. Yet how far that move went, and what it is likely to mean for future policy, has divided those countries and may well determine their performance in the future. Read more >>